Being an artist, whether you’re a performing artist, literary artist, or a fine artist, isn’t for the faint of heart. And it isn’t for people with thin skins. This is something you’ll find out very quickly as you put your work out for people to see and start looking to get paid as an artist. If you’re not a resilient artist you’re going to have a tough time sticking with it, and you’ll open yourself up to a lifetime of disappointment. Resilience is what keeps us from giving up when all odds are against us.
What are the odds? Well, for actors who are in the Screen Actors Guild, approximately 93% of them are unemployed at any given time. And two thirds of the actors who are in the guild make less than $1000 a year. That’s not even enough to pay a month’s rent in Hollywood. The odds of making a good living as any kind of artist are stacked against you. But if you know that going in and can weather the storms, you have a much better chance of at least making a good living at your craft, and hopefully getting to the top of your field.
At Indie Sponsor we believe in the entrepreneurial artist. What entrepreneurs have in common with artists is that you have to be a bit of a risk taker to succeed. And with all risk comes failure. It’s what you do with that failure that will define you as an artist. Failure is just a stepping stone to success. If you’re resilient, you’ll begin to see failure as opportunity and learn from it.
Being an inventor, one of my favorite quotes is from Thomas Edison. “Many of life’s failures are men who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up”. Think about how many actors, singers, writers, painters simply gave up inches away from getting their big break. Where would they be now? Sometimes I think a lot of artists that make it are the ones that absolutely refuse to ever give up. They have a never-ending supply of resilience.